Salmon Start-Up LocalCoho Attracts New Strategic Investors; Raises Additional Funding

AUBURN, N.Y.  – LocalCoho, a land-based aquaculture start-up producing premium Coho salmon already being served at Nobu in New York and several other noted restaurants, has received significant new funding from two prominent seafood industry entrepreneurs, Rodger May and Per Heggelund.

Starting this month, FreshDirect, a leading online grocer, will be the first retailer to sell LocalCoho salmon online.  FreshDirect stands out from competitors by working directly with growers, producers, and local food innovators.

The multimillion-dollar strategic investment will allow LocalCoho, whose pilot farm is based here, to increase harvest capacity and continue to improve husbandry practices.

May is owner and chief growth officer of Peter Pan Seafood, a leading U.S. processor, wholesaler, and marketer of wild-caught salmon with annual revenues of approximately $400 million. He has more than 40 years of seafood industry experience and has had ownership positions at Mid-Pacific Fisheries, Smoki Foods, Northwest Fish, Copper River Seafoods and American Gold — a 20-million-pound salmon farm operation.  A serial entrepreneur in seafood, May is also involved in endeavors ranging from food to film and gold mining to real estate and construction.

“Land-based aquaculture will play a major role in the future of American seafood,” says May. “LocalCoho is front and center of this emerging industry and its laser focus on quality and sustainability that is already yielding excellent results.”

Heggelund, a former owner and operator of a freshwater land-based Coho salmon farm in Washington state, has been at the forefront of the aquaculture industry for more than 40 years. He pioneered the Coho hatchery and breeding company AquaSeed that became the primary egg supplier in the U.S., Chile and Japan. AquaSeed also focused on conservation and restoration programs for threatened Columbia River Chinook salmon.

“This funding from visionaries in seafood will help us refine our expansion plans and sales and marketing strategy,” says Michael Fabbro, president of LocalCoho, himself a salmon industry veteran who took the helm of the company last spring. “These two investors are unmatched in experience and knowledge about how to sustainably farm quality salmon and market it to increasingly discerning and eco-conscious American consumers. Rodger’s ability to open doors through Peter Pan will be a major plus as we grow.”

LocalCoho management, including Fabbro, are also investors. Others include Chief Operating Officer Andre Bravo, a 30-year aquaculture industry veteran plus Chief Financial Officer Julie Martin and Will Biggar, director of business development, both ag tech specialists with a history of building successful businesses across indoor hydroponics, protein production and greenhouse agriculture.

About LocalCoho

LocalCoho is an American salmon company raising Coho salmon in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.  Salmon are grown indoors from egg to harvest using Recirculated Aquaculture Systems (RAS) technology. This cutting-edge technology aims to optimize resource use and minimize impact on the local environment and wildlife. The company’s aim is to innovate and produce healthy, delicious local food for a more sustainable future. LocalCoho has recently started supplying premium salmon to American chefs and consumers throughout the Northeast region. The company is BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) certified and a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch “Best Choice.” For more information, go to